The Maryland men’s and women’s basketball programs were found to have broken separate NCAA rules, resulting in penalties for each team.
In a statement released by the NCAA, the men’s basketball program was noted to have exceeded the number of permissible countable coaches, while the women’s program violated recruiting rules.
The men’s violations are noted to have occurred from July 2017 until February 2018, when the Director of Player Personnel at the time, Matt Brady, helped coach a student-athlete with his shooting form 10 times in a three-month period. He admitted during an investigation that he knew the assistance was against NCAA rules, and conducted the sessions without the knowledge of the coaching staff. The coaching also continued into team practices, as Brady gave scouting reports to the team during film study, which the coaching staff claims it did not realize was a violation.
Brenda Frese and her staff agreed that between May 2015 and April 2018, the program used 17 recruiting booklets that included personalized covers, but claimed that they did not know such a tactic was a violation of NCAA rules. It was also noted that former assistant coach Bett Shelby, who did not have her contract renewed after the 2017-18 season, sent out 150 personalized puzzles to recruits, which was also a violation of NCAA rules.
From the release:
Each of the violations occurred in arguably complicated areas of recruiting legislation and the parties believe that the head women’s basketball coach’s involvement in them were honest mistakes that were not indicative of the head coach failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance or monitoring her staff.
Penalties for these violations include:
- A two-year show-cause order for Brady. During that period, he must attend two NCAA regional rules seminars. Because the university suspended the assistant coach from 15 practices and six games during the 2018-19 season, his athletically related duties are not restricted during the show-cause period.
- Reduction of men’s basketball countable athletic-related activities by one hour per week during the offseason and a reduction by two hours per week in-season (self-imposed by the university).
- The compliance office must attend at least one men’s basketball practice per week, travel to at least four regular-season away games and all postseason games, attend at least nine men’s basketball film review sessions and provide additional education (self-imposed by the university).
- Letter of reprimand issued to the head men’s basketball coach by the university (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction in the number of women’s basketball official visits by three visits per year from 2018-19 through 2020-21 (self-imposed by the university).
- Reduction of one women’s basketball scholarship from 2018-19 through 2020-21 (self-imposed by the university).
- Prohibition on distributing women’s basketball recruiting materials for one week each month during the 2018-19 year (self-imposed by the university).
- One year of probation.
- A $5,000 fine.
The most notable punishments in this agreement include the limiting of countable practice time for the men’s team and the loss of a scholarship for the women’s program for three seasons, as well as the loss of three official visits for the women.
Each of the penalties were self-imposed by the university as a way to avoid stricter punishments by the NCAA through a full investigation. Most penalties also began during the 2018-19 season, leaving Maryland just two more seasons until all punishments are finished.